Tag Archives: Privacy

Facebook Updates its Mobile Privacy Dashboard

12 Dec

Facebook has gotten a lot of flak for their privacy controls, and hell, some of it has come from here, but let’s put that behind us for the moment. Facebook is updating their mobile privacy controls to help users keep track of their data flow.

Below is an excerpt from Tech Crunch’s article about the upgrade. As you’re reading, keep in mind these new controls won’t help you retrieve data you’ve sent out over the years. They just help you better control privacy in the future. It’s not ideal, but it’s a step in the right direction.


Privacy Bills in Congress

9 Dec

Sens. George Allen and Ernest F. Hollings discuss Internet privacy bills at a Senate Commerce meeting.

PogoWasRight.com has done a wonderful thing and compiled a list of privacy bills in Congress right now.  Below is a shortened list of the most crucial ones. For a full list, click here.


EU investigates Google on Anti-Trust Charges

9 Dec

Google can’t seem to stay out of trouble for five minutes, can they?

In late October, Google had to apologize for stealing information from unsecured networks, and only recently got cleared of charges by the FTC.  Earlier this month, a commission from the European Union asked Google (and Facebook) to give users more control over their data.

Now, regulators from the European Union are investigating Google on anti-trust charges.

Surprisingly not for privacy violations.


Stay Safe on Shared Computers

18 Nov

Credit: Emilio QuintanaMany of us use shared computers at work and school after becoming accustomed to the privacy of our personal computers. Unfortunately, this can lead to terrible consequences, especially if we leave social networking profiles or passwords vulnerable to prying eyes. But there are very simple means of protecting yourself on shared computers. Maintaining privacy is all just a matter of keeping your guard up with these methods:


Facebook Infographic: Privacy Through The Years

15 Nov

This look at the last 6 years of Facebook by Lisa Waananen shows how Facebook has changed as a whole, altered it’s settings and each backlash in a breach of privacy.  It’s a simple comprehensive look ranging from the early days of thefacebook.com being shut down when facing legal sanctions to the more recent scandals when Facebook Places was rolled out.  Isn’t it funny how history repeats itself?  See the infographic below! (more…)

If information could fade like footprints

14 Nov

One of the biggest issues for the generations growing up with social media is that their information doesn’t disappear. When the average teen turns thirty, their prospective employers will be able look back at what they are posting now.

This and other potential privacy breaches will be reduced with what researcher Harold van Heerde calls information which acts “like footprints in the sand.”

His idea was described in an article by Science Daily on June 10. It’s a little old, but worth a once over.

National Opt-Out Day protests new security measures

14 Nov

Security at airports is a pain, and has been for years. But more invasive scanning procedures implemented by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has caused one blogger to declare a National Opt-Out Day on Wednesday, Nov. 24.

To celebrate National Opt-Out Day, passengers must opt-out of the TSA’s full body scans, which show passengers’ nude bodies in detail. It sounds simple, but there’s a catch.


Screen Blogging: A Voluntary Loss of Privacy

12 Nov

Credit: practical_owl

Snooping has gone high-tech.

As a regular contributor to Network World, blogger “Ms. Smith” recently examined people who hand over their privacy voluntarily for the sake of productivity. Apparently there is a whole class of internet users who feel that they maintain more control of their privacy by having none at all, leaving nothing to be exploited. Smith adds that there is now a site for these types called Snoopon.me which allows the user’s social circle to see screen shots of their activities that are taken in ten minute intervals. The “trails” of images then allow others to get the gist of what someone is doing on their computer and then berate or congratulate them on their hard work accordingly.

If you’re looking for a little embarrassment or externally imposed discipline, check out Snoopon.me, or read more at Network World or Lifehacker.

EU fights for stricter privacy laws online

8 Nov

The European Union executive commission has asked internet companies such as Google and Facebook to give users greater control of their data, according to an article posted Nov. 6.

No developments have been made yet, but the the request has started what will likely be a vicious battle between activists, companies, and the EU.

The article mentioned several issues the EU overlooked. The EU did not specify whether users would have to “opt in” to data mining under the desired laws, or whether giving them the option of “opting out” would be enough. They also have yet to specify how prominantly information controls will be deplayed on websites.

While the EU has been vague thus far, if they pass laws to give users more control over their data, it could create a precident for further actions.

Even More Tracking Devices

7 Nov


Online ghosts are following you. What will you do to cover your tracks?

The Wall Street Journal just will not let this topic go. First we read a study about the number of tracking devices planted in our computers by visiting children’s sites. Now we are being informed that there are specialized companies that track individuals’ internet activity and sell the information in bulk as a demographic. While we probably already assumed this was happening, it might just hurt our sensibilities to read the confirmation.

Of course, it’s not just about the cookies. There are new trackers on the block that re-spawn. These zombie trackers work in real time, helping companies to follow users and show ads that are specifically marketed to individuals. It’s all about “buy[ing] access to people, not Web pages”. Read more at What They Know and get tips to protect your privacy.